Raniere, not Mexican lawyers, composed threatening letters to silence witnesses; Betancourt used as fool

Keith Raniere known also as the Vanguard.

As alleged in the superseding indictment, among the means and methods by which Keith Raniere and Clare Bronfman participated in illegal conduct was by “using harassment, coercion and abusive litigation to intimidate and attack perceived enemies and critics” of Raniere.  

Bronfman and Raniere made efforts to silence and intimidate DOS “slaves,” soon after public disclosure of DOS by Frank Report. They used several Mexican lawyers to send emails and letters to DOS slaves.

Among the lawyers Nxivm alleges they should have attorney-client privilege with is a one Carmen Gutierrez.

I have some serious doubts that Carmen Gutierrez exists.

On December 7, 2018, an attorneys list provided by Nxivm to the government lists “Carmen Gutierrez” as one of their lawyers. But there is no contact information, email address, or associated law for this lawyer.

Carmen Gutierrez was listed as an attorney in connection with the NXIVM v. Rick Ross matter.

That seems improbable. Neither Bronfman nor Raniere previously listed Gutierrez as an attorney who represented Nxivm. In response to a request by the government, Nxivm attorney Michael Sullivan indicated he would  provide information regarding the identity of Gutierrez. To date, he has not done so. Does “Carmen Gutierrez” exist?

But regardless of which Mexican attorneys they used, it seems that Raniere called all the shots. He even wrote their letters for them.

Let’s look at a time line, most of which comes from the government’s memorandum of law.:

September 6, 2017

Raniere and Bronfman learned that The New York Times would be publishing an article about DOS, based in part on interviews with former Nxivm members.

September 13, 2017

Raniere sent Bronfman an email with the subject line, “What are your thoughts?”:

He then composed the following letter.

“Ms. [Jane Doe 9], I am the chief attorney of a criminal investigation in Mexico of more than 20 individuals tied together in a cooperative destructive network. These individuals, including yourself, have been acting against individuals who participate in the NXIVM corporation community. You are currently connected to the criminal investigations involving fraud, coercion, extortion, harassment, stalking, theft of trade secrets (which includes use of trade secrets compromised of, amongst other things, client lists), criminal conspiracy, computer crimes and corporate espionage. I strongly suggest that you cease and desist, undo, reverse, cancel, and retract, participation in all past, present, and future, conversations, conference calls, meetings, news media, social media, blogs, or websites, relating to this subject matter until the criminal matters are resolved. You should do everything in your power to affect this. Your best course of action to minimize your exposure, in addition to the above, is to repair all damages to parties you have acted against, reconciling with them, and fully cooperating with the criminal investigations. In this regard, I can help you for I represent some of your victims and have access to others. 10 Jane Doe 9 is not referenced in the superseding indictment.

“I know that people in the media (and also bloggers and the like) can be coercive, abusive in their power, and force unwitting, uninformed, participants to complicate situations and potentially even waive rights. You still have the ability to pull away from all participation with these people. Please contact me as soon as possible. “

Less than thirty minutes later, Bronfman sent the text of the email to Alejandro Betancourt in Mexico.

September 14, 2017

Jane Doe 9 received an email from a Mexican lawyer, Mr. Olmedo Gaxiola, with the subject line “CAUSA PENAL EN MEXICO.” Attached to the email was a Microsoft Word document containing, word-for-word, the text of the email that had been sent by Raniere to Bronfman — and then by Bronfman to Betancouirt.

The metadata of the Word document received by Jane Doe 9 reflects that the creator of the document was Bronfman.

September 18, 2017

Raniere sent Bronfman another email with the subject line “Draft”.

In it he writes,

“Ms. [Jane Doe 9], You are the only person receiving this letter. This overture is against my better judgement as I feel there is little probability of success yet more expense, but I am writing you on my clients’ behalf.

“If you do not respond affirmatively to this letter by 1:00 pm September 19th I will need to proceed as previously required. I will then not contact you informally again. My clients want to give you this opportunity to cooperate and minimize the impact on your life. The criminal investigations will increase in number, and thoroughness, and will not stop until justice is served. This will not go away.

“The group with which you are involved contains individuals who have already served prison time [Joe O’Hara], others who are currently indicted [Frank Parlato], and some that face extradition proceedings [Catherine Oxenberg, Toni Natalie]. The others are under investigation for quite serious crimes. The form of justice to which they subscribe is trial and conviction by media, personal opinion, and abuse of power. They appear to have no issue with committing a crime when it suites [sic] them. They use the actions of others to justify this. Whether the person they target is right or wrong, this method of persecution is very wrongful. You must separate from them completely to mitigate the effects on yourself. Please divest yourself from this wrongfulness and this group. Please write to me affirmatively by the above deadline indicating you will cooperate fully. I can also help you with any criminal investigations within the United States. Sincerely.

That same day, Jane Doe 9 received an email from Mr. Olmedo Gaxiola attaching a second letter as a document in Microsoft Word.

The letter contained nearly exactly the same text as that sent to Bronfman by Raniere — and, once again, the metadata of the Word document reflects that the creator of the document was Bronfman.

Jane Doe 8 and other DOS “slaves” received similar communications and letters from another Mexican attorney – Ruiz Durán.

October 11, 2017

Six days before The New York Times published its report on DOS, Jane Doe 8 received an email from Durán. In the email,  Durán stated that he was taking “the liberty to writing to you to let you know that the State’s Attorney’s Office in Mexico, has issued some directives against you and other individuals.”

Durán enclosed a letter in Spanish and a document containing an English translation directing Jane Doe 8 to “[s]top, abstain and refrain from incurring in any type of intimidation, acts of nuisance or disturbances against” Betancourt, legal representative of Nxivm Mexico, “and/or any person with any sort of relation to the Company referred herein.”

On September 14, 2017 – and again on October 12, 2017 – Bronfman sent Raniere emails attaching a spreadsheet titled “Individuals Involved” listing individuals and the purported “damage” they had caused to Raniere and Raniere-created entities. One column in the spreadsheet is titled “Crime,” under which Bronfman documented the supposed crime(s) each individual committed against Raniere, and another column in the spreadsheet is titled “Priority Level,” with numbers listed beneath.

The names of former DOS “slaves” appear on the list.

Next to Jane Doe 8 and Jane Doe 9’s names, under “Crime,” was listed, “Use of Trade secrets” and “secret disclosure.”  The “Priority Level” indicated for Jane Doe 9 was 1.

It is interesting that

  1. Bronfman and Ranere targeted DOS victims as “individuals involved” in causing “damage” to Raniere.
  2. Bronfman and Raniere—not their attorneys—drafted the letters used to intimidate their enemies.
  3. Bronfman and Raniere used attorneys licensed to practice only in Mexico to send the letters, even though Bronfman, Raniere, Jane Doe 8, and Jane Doe 9 all lived in the New York area.
  4. The language of the letters suggest the threat of criminal prosecution.

When communications with attorneys are made for no other purpose than to contact crime victims in an effort to keep them from publicly disclosing the existence of DOS and from reporting their experiences to law enforcement, there can be no attorney-client privilege – at least that is the argument the government makes.

I suspect that argument will prevail.

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Another thing, Dianne, For me, Grigoriadis’ book topic weighs in favor of Keith or one of his brainier concubines targeting her without any assistance from the Mexican Espians or the NYT or Carlos Slim Helu’ — hits the “sorority sister sex ritual”defense angle on the head and they could offer hee a future in their college recruitment efforts. If she downplayed the cult label and left a few crucial questions unanswered about Allie’s brand and why there aren’t more Mexican NX leaders in Mexico. Maybe? What do you think?

    • This is so on the money, Grigoridis was chosen because of her ability to explain nxivm as yet another example of a prevailing shift in cultural mores, or just another example of ‘how long-standing shifts in sex and power are being re-written’ the grounding details in the piece are so precise – Nancys kitchen the quality of the croissant- as to sound laboured like a marketing brochure, and it lacks focus, too much smoke and mirrors…

  • What a bunch of idiots, to send drafts back and forth by email bypassing the “attorneys” (if they in fact exist). They left a clear paper trail. But then again I’m sure Keith and Clare believed they were above the law and immune from being held accountable for anything.

    Another thing: Threatening criminal prosecution if someone keeps cooperating with law enforcement on other matters smacks of obstruction of justice. I am far from an expert in criminal law, but since that stupid letter was clearly drafted by Raniere, to get informants to shut up, there ought to be some penalty. At the very least, it would go a long way towards proving his guilt. Would love to see what a jury thinks about the whole mess.

  • Only from NXIVM would one see, « But my lawyer threatening witnesses was privileged communication ! »

    • Lol. And look how those special privilege demands backfired, too. Now, WE get the privilege of seeing some of the evidence NX most wanted to keep secret. Penza for Pres.!

      You think Clare will have the horse sense to fire Burke herself?

      • I think the only person who has the power to fire Burke is Carlos Salinas and I am guessing he still fires the same way he did when he was four years old.
        Burke chose the consequences when he chose the game.

  • Interesting that most of the crimes listed in the “cease and desist” letters are some of the very crimes Raniere and the NXIVM high ranks are accused for. They will all rotten in jail. Karma is a Bitch!

  • Gotta hand it to Frank for being exactly who he is and doggedly pursuing the truth like this even when it favors those like Betancourt who tried mightily to thwart him.

  • Meant she said the term cult is used too loosely.
    She seems like a libtard. I am moderate but my self but sometimes people are too far too left.

  • Hi Frank,

    What are your thoughts on the podcast Escaping NXIVM? Is it balanced? Is it too fair? What is your opinion of the female reporter/researcher who stated she was not sold on NXIVM as a cult? She also said most of the women who took part found it a positive experience. What’s your opinion?

    My personal feeling is that the “social group contagion” effect has occurred with the women who had a positive experience.
    The reporter/researcher in my opinion is out of her mind. She said she didn’t like the “cult term” as well and is used loosely.


    • How ‘bout maybe The NY Times story by reporter Gregoralis (is that whom you’re referring to — and I don’t have time to look up the spelling for her name either) was an entire put-up job assigned to an Hispanic female rookie reporter to:

      – Frame Allison Mack into an admission that the branding was her idea when other slaves like India publically stated there was a cat fight over who would take credit for this bright idea to cover for Vanguard and spin the whole “empowerment” sister/ sorority angle.

      – Disguise or dispute the “cult” label —Clare’s mission since Daddy B outed NX as a cult to Forbes in 2003 and refused to take it back on his death bed.

      – Make other flattering observations about NX and its alleged fearless leaders IN MEXICO but CONSPICUOUSLY absent of any MENTION of its MEXICAN leaders in Ms. Gregoalis’ story.

      – Of note also is the fact that Carlos Slim Helu’ does own a chunk of the New York Times and also the fact that the story was not released until after it was obvious or about the same time Mack was indicted — Six months after the Sarah Edmondson story broke.

      Doesn’t that smell a little bit to any seasoned news reporters out there ?

      • Heidi,

        I suspect you are right on the money about the New York Times Magazine article being used to have Allison say that the branding was her idea.

        However, Vanessa Grigoriadis is not Hispanic. Per Wikipedia, she is of Greek descent. Nor would I call her a rookie. She already had a solid career. She wrote for top prestigious publications such as Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, was a National Magazine Award winner, and had a published book under her belt. Ironically the book, Blurred Lines, is about female empowerment. Per Wiki:

        In 2014, Grigoriadis wrote a cover story on Emma Sulkowicz, the Columbia student known as Mattress Girl. That story grew into Grigordiadis’s first book, Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus. Published in September 2017, the book is an exploration of the changing attitudes toward consent on college campuses across the United States. Female students have been using fresh, smart methods to fight entrenched sexism and sexual assault even as they celebrate their own sexuality as never before, and many “woke” male students are more sensitive to women’s concerns than previous generations ever were, while other men perpetuate the most cruel misogyny. Grigoriadis investigates these complexities in the book by traveling to campuses, embedding in their social whirl, and talking candidly with dozens of students, administrators, parents, and researchers, ultimately chronicling how long-standing rules of sex and power are being rewritten from scratch.

        • Thanks for that, Dianne. I stand corrected on the reporter’s BG -background – but I stand by the conclusion that the story was rigged from top to bottom.

          Even more so in light of these facts you present. How does a seasoned investigative journalist not ask the person who says she conceived of the branding if she has a brand herself? How does the NYT fly a reporter to Mexico who *isn’t* Mexican or Hispanic (but sure looks like she could be). How did she miss the fact that there were so few Mexican NX leaders presented to her, that she’s interviewing American NX leaders IN Mexico who say they’re afraid to be there as they may be kidnapped, to quote Clare from the story.

          Peterson’s story, too, hangs together for me — whether I want it to or not — rather see Raniere hang without justice getting hung up on some overbloated political conspiracy — when I glance back at some of these details, anomalies and impressions. ….What the hell were they staging an interview in Mexico for at all? To advertise Keith’s kidnap prevention formula to “end violence in Mexico” — because then they really do look like stooges set to take the blame for Burke or some covert arms shipment etc. scheme.

          I nearly called Allison’s family when I read that NYT story to try to warn them to get Allie her own lawyer then and there, without analyzing much why I felt that urge.

          Thanks for setting me straight on those facts!

      • Thanks for the insight on that article. It seemed completely strange to me that the New York Times would run such blatant BS article.

  • Does anyone know if Keith Raniere performed hypnosis on members? I can’t recall.

    There should probably be a NXIVM wiki Glossary and index with the cast of characters and madeup vernacular.

  • Raniere is very stupid. Hopefully he’s being used as a sex toy for some well endowed convicts in the prison. Or at least getting beaten up regularly.

  • While this question is unrelated to the current post, I’m curious to understand more about the relationship between NXIVM and Roger Stone. It has been stated in the media that he was hired to audit one of their courses or learning modules. However, on face value, this seems like a most interesting, and yet peculiar match. Why would a self-help organization that teaches ethics and humanistic therapy think Roger Stone could help them considering Stone is such a controversial conservative figure in politics? Why would Roger Stone then walk away from and state that he thought they would be better served by an attorney? It’s also known that Roger has a pension for promiscuity — could this have been the initial reason why NXIVM reached out to him for his services? Thanks in advance for further insight.

    • Hmm interesting your prurient interest in Roger Stone who was out of there in a heartbeat. Don’t be angry that Stone had a brain and saw where the NXIVM scam was heading. Maybe you should look more into certain democrat politicians and operatives who actually enabled NXIVM

      • I’m not questioning if Roger Stone has a brain, and I’m not angry. Just asking questions. You’re exactly right, there were, and are some democratic politicians and operatives who acted poorly and enabled this mess to happen, and some they still do. And, there are also some on the conservative side who do as well.

  • Of course Raniere composed the threatening letters. His last, rather eccentric, bail application was obviously mostly composed by him. He likes to be in control, even if his words make him look ridiculous and his attorneys advise him of this. Vanguard is a narcissist and he won’t be able to resist taking the stand, no matter what Agnifilo advises.

    • Totally agree, Pyriel. As this case stretches on, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more bail applications by Raniere.

  • https://www.instagram.com/p/BsGh7WRBuXJ/

    “Happy New Year, all! I hope 2019 brings closeness, love, success, challenge and ease. I always felt like a shitty person for severing toxic relationships in my life. At 36, I (finally) do not. Baby steps. Ha. So, the first thing up this year is the Canadian premiere of season 2 of Burden of Truth. And these lovely pics of a (very super extra) glam me! I don’t do many fashion shoots these days, so they feel extra fancy. Thanks to @beyondfashionmagazine for thinking of me and our show😘; I will never be this 😎 in reality. (please note that when reading the article, the word “exotic” should be in quotes–in 1999, this was considered an acceptable way to describe a non-white person)”

    You’re still too much of a coward to talk about NXIVM. What toxic relationships did you sever Kristin? You did not leave NXIVM in 2013. You knew years ago that Keith Raniere was a pedophile and rapist. You did not care. That makes you a very, extremely shitty person. You recruited Allison Mack into the cult and did and said absolutely nothing when the branding story broke. You were happy to use your d-list fame to help build up the cult but refused to use it to draw attention to the crimes. Instead, you portrayed yourself as the savior of teen girls and a girl born to pedophile rape on a tax payer funded television show. That makes you a shitty person. You have attached yourself to a documentary about a rape victim while ignoring NXIVM. That makes you a shitty person. You signed an open letter against a man accused of bad behavior against women while ignoring NXIVM as if you are morally better than him. That makes you a shitty person. Frank Parlato was the only media person calling you out and you continued and still continue to be a coward. You took zero opportunity to do the right thing as long as your fame and money privileges were protected. That makes you a shitty person. Now you are saying you don’t even care. That makes you an extremely shitty person. You are not a victim of NXIVM. You were a willing perpetrator and enabler. You were a big part of it. You don’t get to call anyone toxic when you are a shitty person yourself. If you consider them toxic to you, then you were toxic to them and others. You are no different from them.

    If you had spoken out against NXIVM, perhaps DOS would never existed. Perhaps all those women would not be branded above their pussies with the initials of a bitch you recruited and a pedophile you followed. And you don’t care?

    Also, it is still acceptable to call a foreigner “exotic”. You call us “bigot”, “Nazi” “racist” “privileged” simply for existing and not being PC. You receive huge amounts of predominately white tax dollars to insult said white tax payers. We can call you whatever we like. Stop being PC.

    And to Rose Bhura who left this message: “Go get it my friend!! Plus good riddance to the 💩💩💩 and onwards in 💕🌟🎉❤️” – you are a shitty person too. Not even a single acknowledgement of NXIVM and the fact Kreuk recruited you. You don’t get to say good riddance.

  • Hey Frank,

    You have made numerous posts claiming that Emi and Betancourt are butt buddies who bend each other over and pound each other’s buttholes.

    I would like you to cite your proof. I don’t believe this necessarily.

    Also, who is the girl and who is the boy in that relationship?

    Who is ‘pitching’ and who is ‘catching’ when they fuck? Who’s butt gets invaded?

    I want facts, not speculation. How sure are you, Frank?

  • Clear obstruction of justice. Plus if Defense Atty knew Carmen Gutierrez doesn’t exist, that is participation in a crime – obstruction of justice and conspiracy.

    There are not many female attorneys in Mexico. Would be easy to find Carmen Gutierrez if she does exist.

  • Like everyone else in NXIVM, his greed got the better of him, but his greed appears to be beyond that. A currency exchange business is a great way to launder money. I’m surprised he hasn’t disappeared or turned up dead.

  • Raniere is so smart, I always thought the phrase was, “Where is the world is Carmen San Diego,” not Gutierrez. I wish I was a smart as Raniere. Someone (prison guard?) also needs to tell Raniere that he should put an “Esq.” behind his name, as many lawyers do. There is no law against that, but there are laws against impersonating a court officer, although a lot of lawyers impersonate that they are human beings, so I guess we’re even.

  • Betancourt used as fool

    Betancourt might be a useful idiot but he still allowed himself to be used in an effort to intimidate witnesses.
    The gay Mexican Mussolini must go down.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com


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